(third-person singular simple present estranges, present participle estranging, simple past and past participle estranged)
- To cause to feel less close or friendly; alienate. To cease contact with (particularly of a family member or spouse, especially in form estranged).
- To remove from an accustomed place or set of associations.
Largely synonymous with alienate, estrange is primarily used to mean “cut off relations”, particularly in a family setting, while alienate is rather used to refer to driving off (“he alienated her with his atrocious behavior”) or to offend a group (“the imprudent remarks alienated the urban demographic”).
When speaking of parents being estranged from a child of theirs, disown is frequently used instead, and has a stronger connotation.
From Old French estranger (“to treat as a stranger”), from Latin extraneus (“foreigner, stranger”) (from which also English strange, stranger). Also see Spanish: extraño.